Police hunting killer of Rory find a man's body during search of house

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The Independent Online

The primary school pupil disappeared on his way to school a week ago last Thursday. His asphyxiated body was discovered three days later following a massive search of the local area involving hundreds of police and volunteers.

The boy's fully dressed body was found in woodland three-quarters of a mile from Meldrum Primary School in Livingston, near Edinburgh.

The youngster had been dropped off just 300 yards from the school on the Thursday morning by his mother Michelle, 41, a teacher at another school in the area. But his disappearance was not reported until the end of the school day when his grandfather arrived to collect him and was told Rory had not attended classes.

For days a team of more than 70 officers from Lothian and Borders Police searched the area around where his body was discovered hidden under an abandoned tent.

Forensic examination of the scene, and information from the public on possible sightings of Rory shortly before his death led to a number of lines of enquiry.

Yesterday it emerged that a team of forensic officers had been making a detailed search of a house in the Livingston neighbourhood and officers appealed for information on a man dressed in black seen close to the spot where the body was found.

The man police are looking for was described as 38 to 40, 5ft 8in with a gaunt, very pale appearance and a pointed nose with light or grey stubble on his chin.

He was wearing a black bomber jacket zipped up to the neck and he wore black jeans and black boots or shoes.

However during their search of the premises in the Camps Rigg area of Livingston, which began at about lunchtime yesterday, officers discovered the body of a man.

"Ongoing inquiries by Lothian and Borders police led officers to conduct forensic examinations on a house on Livingston," said a police spokeswoman .

"During a search conducted today at an address , we can confirm that the body of an adult was recovered from the premises. A post-mortem [examination] and formal identification is expected to take place on Monday," she said.

The murder of Rory has shocked the close-knit West Lothian community of Livingston.

On Saturday his mother, Michelle, father Russell, 42, and Rory's 14-year old brother, Conal, laid a bunch of thistles and lavender close at a makeshift memorial at the gate to the wooded area where the body was found.

A message on the card read simply: "Rory-Pory, you are always with us in our thoughts and in our hearts. Our wee Rory, we love you."

In an attempt to gather more information from the public police launched a text messaging service to encourage people to come forward. The number, 07717 997 885, will allow the public to send texts as well as pictures and video clips.

Detectives have taken almost 300 calls since making the appeal and since launching the murder investigation, have received over 1,000 calls and more than 60 e-mails.